Phiyega defence: Commissioner Mbombo made ‘tactical phase’ call

Riah Phiyega is facing the Claassen Board of Inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

FILE: Former North West Police Commissioner Lt General Zukiswa Mbombo. Picture:EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega's legal team has argued that it was Provincial Commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo's, decision for police in Marikana to move to a tactical phase.

Phiyega is facing the Claassen Board of Inquiry into her fitness to hold office, in relation to her conduct during the mass shooting in 2012.

The suspended national police commissioner has been accused of not asking pertinent questions about the police's operation, and failing to take control of the situation in order to prevent bloodshed.

Advocate Mahlape Sello says the decision to move to a tactical phase in Marikana did not come from Phiyega.

"What really happened was that the decision to launch phase three of the plan was taken by provincial commissioner Mbombo, before or during a meeting at the [National Management Forum]."

Sello has also argued that the public order policing unit fell directly under the North West police commissioner.

She says there was no attempt to conceal that this decision had been made, and Phiyega would have been overstepping her duty if she taken over.